Posted tagged ‘Khaled Mashaal’

The Palestinian Jihads against Israel

December 13, 2016

The Palestinian Jihads against Israel, Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh, December 13, 2016

“We will not recognize Israel because it will inevitably go away. And we will not backtrack on the option of armed struggle until the liberation of all Palestine.” — Khalil Al-Haya, Hamas senior official.

The abandonment of Gaza by Israel in 2005 drove the Palestinian vote for Hamas the next year. It also explains why many Palestinians continue to support Hamas — because they still believe that violence is the way to defeat Israel.

Hamas believes that Israel does not have the right to defend itself against rockets and terror attacks. It even considers Israel’s self-defense as an “act of terror.”

In yet another sign that exposes Hamas’s ongoing preparations to attack Israel, the movement last week held a drill with live ammunition in the northern Gaza Strip.

“What has been achieved so far is a small jihad, and the big jihad is still awaiting us.” — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is convinced that his “diplomatic jihad” against Israel is no less effective than Hamas’s jihad of terrorism.

Yet even if Abbas manages to achieve reconciliation with Hamas, this move should not be seen as sign of pragmatism on the part of the Islamist movement. Under no circumstances will Hamas relinquish its policy of the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist state.

From Abbas’s point of view, Hamas’s terrorism will only increase the pressure on Israel to capitulate. Here Abbas has an ally in Hamas: to multiply jihads to force Israel to its knees.

The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, which is currently celebrating the 29th anniversary of its founding, misses no opportunity to broadcast its stated reason for being: to wage jihad (holy war) in order to achieve its goal of destroying Israel. Those who allege that Hamas is moving toward pragmatism and moderation might take note.

Last week, tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to participate in rallies marking the anniversary of the founding of Hamas. As in previous years, the rallies were held under the motto of jihad and “armed resistance” until the liberation of all Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Another message that emerged loud and clear from the rallies: Hamas will never recognize Israel’s right to exist.

This year’s rallies once again also served as a reminder of the enormous popularity that Hamas continues to enjoy among Palestinians — not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in the West Bank, where supporters of the Islamist movement celebrated the occasion, but on a smaller scale and with a lower profile, out of fear of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli security forces.

Khalil Al-Haya, a senior Hamas official, outlined in a speech before his supporters in the Gaza Strip his movement’s strategy, namely to pursue the fight until the elimination of Israel. “We will not recognize Israel because it will inevitably go away,” he declared.

“And we will not backtrack on the option of armed struggle until the liberation of all Palestine. Since its establishment, Hamas has been — and will remain — a Palestinian Islamic national and resistance movement whose goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Israeli project. The liberation of the Gaza Strip is just the first step toward the liberation of Palestine — all Palestine. There is no future for the Israeli entity on our homeland.”

When Hamas leaders talk about the “liberation” of the Gaza Strip, they are referring to the total unilateral Israeli disengagement from that area in 2005. Hamas and many Palestinians have never viewed the full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a gesture on the part of Israel. Nor have they ever considered the disengagement as a sign that Israel is no longer interested in controlling the lives of nearly two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

On the contrary, Hamas and many Palestinians continue to see the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip as a sign of weakness. In fact, this disengagement is why Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary election in 2006, when it took credit for driving Israel out of the Gaza Strip through suicide bombings and rockets. Back then, this abandonment of land by Israel drove the Palestinian vote for Hamas. It also explains why many Palestinians continue to support Hamas — because they still believe that violence is the way to defeat Israel.

Many Palestinians see Israeli concessions, gestures and unilateral moves as proof of capitulation, rather than positive signs testifying to Israel’s peaceful intentions. These “concessions for peace” by Israel further increases Palestinians’ appetite for launching armed attacks against Israel. Today, many Palestinians are convinced that they can achieve more through stabbings, vehicular rammings and shooting attacks than sitting with Israel at the negotiating table.

The Qatar-based Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, seized the anniversary as an opportunity once again to remind everyone of his movement’s real goals. Speaking on the Al-Jazeera TV network, which serves as a platform for the Muslim Brotherhood organization (Hamas is an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood), Mashaal said:

“We are moving forward with our resistance to achieve our national project… We are looking forward to liberating Palestine and cleansing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and protecting it from division and demolition. We also seek the return of the refugees to their homeland and the liberation of our prisoners from Israeli jails.”

When he talks about “cleansing” Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Hamas leader is referring to Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have been exploiting these visits to incite their people against Israel. They claim that Jewish visitors are “desecrating” the holy site and should not be allowed to set foot there. These words mirror those used by President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that Palestinians will not allow Jews to “defile with their filthy feet” the Al-Aqsa Mosque (although no Jew has entered the mosque itself).

Mashaal, who in the past few years has been living as royalty in Qatar (the country that is the main patron of Muslim Brotherhood), went on to emphasize that Hamas has “not changed its strategy of liberating Palestine.” He also said that, “Military work remains the backbone of liberation.” Hamas, he added, “Continues to believe in the full liberation of Palestine and that jihad and resistance are the only means to expel the occupation and liberate Palestine and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.” According to Mashaal, Hamas continues to look toward Arab and Islamic countries, including Iran, for the military, financial and political support to achieve its goal of destroying Israel.

Hamas’s armed wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, boasted on this occasion that 22 of its men have been killed since the beginning of 2016, while preparing for the next war with Israel. Most of the Hamas men were killed when the tunnels in which they were working in collapsed. Hamas continues to build new tunnels and renovate those that were destroyed during the last war with Israel in 2014. Hamas says it wants to use these tunnels in the future to infiltrate Israel and kill or kidnap Israeli civilians or soldiers.

Ironically, while Hamas pursues its round-the-clock efforts to prepare for war against Israel, its leaders do not hesitate to depict themselves as victims, and warn of supposed Israeli plans to launch a “new aggression” against Palestinians. Hamas believes that Israel does not have the right to defend itself against rockets and terror attacks. It even considers Israel’s self-defense as an “act of terror.”

Take, for example, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum’s recent assessment. Lashing out at U.S. aid to Israel, Barhoum said that the American military and financial aid to Israel constitutes “official support for terrorism.”

This is effectively Hamas’s message to the new U.S. administration: Stop supporting Israel with weapons and money because that hinders our goal of destroying Israel. In yet another sign that exposes Hamas’s ongoing preparations to attack Israel, the movement last week held a drill with live ammunition in the northern Gaza Strip. The drill enacted, among other things, an incursion into a civilian populated area. Hamas said the drill was the fruit of 380 hours of non-stop military training of its “Special Units.”

Hamas’s rhetoric and actions leave no room for doubt as to its intentions. Twenty-nine years after its establishment, a defiant Hamas continues to believe that Israel can, and should, be destroyed. The dream to eliminate Israel remains alive and well among many Palestinians, as evidenced at Hamas rallies by the massive turnouts.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, however, are kissing cousins when it comes to Israel. Hamas’s talk of jihad against Israel is right in line with Abbas’s speech before the 7th Congress of Fatah, which convened in Ramallah two weeks ago. “What has been achieved so far is a small jihad, and the big jihad is still awaiting us,” Abbas declared.

According to Abbas’s aides, the PA president was referring to a different type of jihad — one that relates to his ongoing efforts in the international arena to isolate and delegitimize Israel, to force it to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians. Abbas’s diplomatic warfare against Israel began several years ago, with the PA’s efforts to join international institutions and seek unilateral recognition in the UN of a Palestinian state. His ultimate goal is to have the international community exert pressure on Israel to withdraw fully to the pre-1967 lines. Abbas wants to establish a Palestinian state with the help of the international community, and not through direct negotiations with Israel. He is convinced that his “diplomatic jihad” against Israel is no less effective than the Hamas jihad of terrorism.

This Abbas talk of “small” and “big” jihad comes at a time when Abbas and Hamas are in courting mode. Some reports have suggested that Abbas recently sent conciliatory messages to Hamas in yet another bid to end the dispute between the two sides. He and Khaled Mashaal have had regular phone contact, with both expressing a desire to end the conflict between them. The reports have even suggested that the two rival parties may be preparing to resume their “reconciliation” talks in Doha under the auspices of Qatar. Last October, Abbas met in Doha with Mashaal and another Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, as part of his rapprochement with the Islamist movement. The meeting was said to be held in a cordial atmosphere, and some Palestinian political analysts point to a warming of relations between the two sides.

677-1Last October, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Qatar with Khaled Mashaal and another Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, as part of his rapprochement with the Islamist movement. Pictured above: Abbas (right) meets with Khaled Mashaal in Qatar on July 20, 2014, in a previous reconciliation attempt. (Image source: Handout from the PA President’s Office/Thaer Ghanem)

Yet even if Abbas manages to achieve reconciliation with Hamas, this move should not be seen as a sign of pragmatism on the part of the Islamist movement. Under no circumstances will Hamas relinquish its policy of the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist state. The movement’s own words on its anniversary provide the best proof of this intention. To their credit, Hamas leaders are nothing if not honest about their commitment to Israel’s destruction. Abbas certainly will not attempt to convince Hamas to abandon this fundamental goal. So, as far as Hamas is concerned, reconciliation means that Abbas will move closer to the Islamist movement and not vice versa.

In fact, Mahmoud Abbas seems to believe that Hamas’s and his jihads complement each other. Thus, Hamas will continue its deadly jihad, while Abbas will pursue his “diplomatic jihad” against Israel. From his point of view, Hamas’s terrorism will only increase the pressure on Israel to capitulate. Here Abbas has an ally in Hamas: to multiply jihads to force Israel to its knees.

Attacks on Israelis will go on, Hamas chief says in South Africa

October 22, 2015

Attacks on Israelis will go on, Hamas chief says in South Africa At Cape Town rally organized by ruling African National Congress party, Khaled Mashaal urges continued terror attacks

By Raphael Ahren and AFP

October 22, 2015, 9:50 am

Source: Attacks on Israelis will go on, Hamas chief says in South Africa | The Times of Israel

Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal at an African National Congress rally in Hamas's honor in Cape Town, South Africa, October 21, 2015. (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal at an African National Congress rally in Hamas’s honor in Cape Town, South Africa, October 21, 2015. (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

amas political chief Khaled Mashaal told a government-endorsed rally in South Africa on Wednesday that the wave of stabbing attacks against Israelis would continue.

Referring to the terror attacks as “the Jerusalem intifada,” Mashaal told a crowd of several hundred supporters waving Hamas’s white-and-green flag in Cape Town that “the uprisings shall continue until freedom is achieved and the land is for Palestine and its people.”

He compared the Palestinian cause to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

“South Africa, you have achieved your freedom, the people of Palestine are aspiring to attain their freedom,” he said.

“Do not expect that they should stop with the uprising, do not expect that they should stop with the resistance.”

Hamas’s spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, echoed Mashaal’s words late Wednesday, saying that day’s terror attacks in Jerusalem and Hebron “proved that all the tricks used to disrupt the intifada are doomed to failure.”

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem has expressed “shock and outrage” at South Africa’s hosting of the terror group’s leaders, and on Monday summoned South Africa’s deputy ambassador “for a reprimand,” ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said.

The ANC’s invitation to Hamas “provided a tailwind for terrorism and blatantly and crudely ignored the position of the international community, which considers Hamas a terror organization,” Nahshon fumed.

The Hamas delegation, which also included Mashaal’s deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk, was welcomed at the airport Monday by the ANC’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, according to a senior ANC official.

“It is to demonstrate that the African National Congress is willing to talk to all people who are positive in terms of their attainment of self-determination and nationhood in Palestine,” the official told SABC News.

Mantashe, the ANC secretary-general, said Monday that his party has signed a “letter of intent” with Hamas. “We have an intention of building a long-lasting relationship,” he said at a press conference with Mashaal, calling the delegation’s visit “very important.”

Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal at an African National Congress rally in Hamas's honor in Cape Town, South Africa, October 21, 2015. (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

According to a Twitter feed affiliated with the ANC, Mashaal said during the Monday press conference that his organization opposes the “killing of innocent people,” but also called for a struggle against Israel.

“We are insisting with our people to finish this apartheid regime. This racist occupation should be put to an end,” Mashaal was quoted as saying.

The South African Zionist Federation “condemns in the strongest terms possible the fact that a delegation representing the Hamas Central Committee will be visiting South Africa as the honored guests of the ruling party,” a statement by the group read.

“During these past few weeks of barbaric violence targeting Israel, Hamas has enthusiastically endorsed the cold-blooded murder of Israeli civilians and instigated dozens of lethal attacks against them,” the statement continued.

The African National Congress has long been supportive of the Palestinians’ struggle against Israel and exceedingly critical of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians.

“Contrary to what is claimed, the ideology, values, aims and strategies of Hamas are diametrically opposed to the principles of the ANC, as embodied in the Freedom Charter,” the Zionist Federation declares in the statement.

At a recent summit, the ANC party reaffirmed its support for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Hamas, by contrast, does not support, nor has it ever supported, the creation of an independent Palestinian state co-existing in peace alongside Israel. Instead, its charter explicitly stipulates that no negotiated settlement is possible in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians with Jihad being the only solution,” the Zionist Federation statement read. “Simply speaking, Hamas wishes to destroy Israel altogether and seeks to establish an Islamist dictatorship in its place.”

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

August 29, 2014

By: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Published: August 28th, 2014

via The Jewish Press » » Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel.

 

Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal rallies supporters in Gaza (archive).
Photo Credit: Screenshot

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

Including Gaza as part of the Palestinian Authority works to Abbas’ benefit because it will solidify position that a Palestinian Authority state needs to on contiguous territory, meaning that Sderot residents can start packing up and leaving their homes as well as their bomb shelters, which would save Hamas lots of time and money when digging terror tunnels from the Western Negev to Ashdod.

Mashaal’s aim is the same as Mashaal, but his strategy is different When Mashaal says that there will be another war to “free Palestine,” he is referring to all of Israel, from Kiryat Shmona in the north to Eilat in the south, and from the Dead Sea in the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west.

Abbas talks about a “two-state solution,” the magic phrase that sends U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry into hallucinations and hypnotizes the foreign media into pretending that the Palestinian Authority’s maps of “Palestine” don’t include the existence of Israel.

But Mashaal reminded everyone in his speech that he has people on his side.

He thanked his sponsors for terror, namely Qatar, Turkey, Yemen and Algeria, and he thanked South Africa and Latin American countries for boycotting Israel.

Update: Israel Denies It Agreed to Large-Scale Concessions

August 19, 2014

Israel waited 12 hours to deny an agreement.

Abbas talked with Mashaal while Shin Bet busted coup plot.

By: Tzvi Ben-GedalyahuPublished: August 19th, 2014

via The Jewish Press » » Update: Israel Denies It Agreed to Large-Scale Concessions.

 

Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, the terrorist on the left.
Photo Credit: Mohammed al-Hums / Flash 90
 

Israel denied Tuesday morning that it has agreed to large-scale concession to Hamas and stated that no final agreement has been reached.

Egypt announced shortly before midnight Monday that the five-day cease-fire is being extended for another 24 hours.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Qatar Monday to talk with Hamas’ top dog Khaled Mashaal at almost the same time Israeli security officials announced they busted a Hamas plot to carry out terrorist attacks from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and then stage a coup to oust Abbas from power in Ramallah.

Palestinian Authority and Egyptian sources managed to convince media Monday night that a final agreement was in the works. Shortly before the five-day cease-fire was to expire, Hamas, as usual, denied that there was an agreement and blamed Israel for the failure to come to terms for a longer-term truce.

The 24-hour extension indicates that all sides are close to agreeing to the main points of a longer-term truce.

One thing that is for sure is that the truce will be dangerous for all sides, including Abbas but except for Hamas.

Abbas wants to exploit the unity government with Hamas to promote his aim of peacefully doing away with Israel piece by piece. His problem is that Hamas wants to get rid of Abbas, not through peace and not piece by piece.

Israel wants peace and quiet for its citizens and has surrendered its previous condition for peace that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists must surrender their weapons before any agreement can be made.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Monday night again threatened to deliver another heavy blow to Hamas if attacks on Israel resume.

They apparently figure that the heavy bombing of terrorist targets in Gaza during the war was enough to keep Gaza terrorists in their place, even if they hold onto their rockets, anti-tank missiles and other advanced weapons that include anti-aircraft missiles that can take down a commercial airline.

Israel reportedly has promised Hamas that the permitted fishing zone will be doubled to six nautical miles and that border crossings on land will be opened. Contrary to the libel of the “siege,” Israel has operated the Kerem Shalom crossing on a daily basis except when Hamas rocket fire endangered security personnel and truck drivers.

Egypt also has agreed to keep open the crossing at the Rafah border.

Israel was said to have  nodded its head in approval to allow Hamas to build and operate a deep-sea port and to resume delivery of “dual-purpose” materials, such as cement, which was used to build tunnels for terror. International supervisors would make sure the dual-purpose materials are earmarked for peaceful purposes, but once Hamas gets its hands on the cement, or fertilizer that can be used for explosives, it is nearly impossible to keep track.

Israel’s denial on Tuesday of the concessions was not official and was attributed to “sources,” leaving open the possibility that negotiators from Jerusalem indeed agreed to concessions but then changed their minds after Hamas balked. Alternatively, Israel simply may have been holding its cards close to the chest to see if Hamas is willing to stop its usual game of agreeing in private and then undermining the agreement by going public with more demands.

Enter Mahmud Abbas, whose security forces are supposed to be deployed in Gaza to maintain peace, if Hamas agrees.

Qatar gave Hamas $100 million for terrorist activities, such as building tunnels, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told the United Nations Monday.

Hamas is a threat to Abbas as well as it is to Egypt and Israel. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed on Monday that it busted a huge Hamas terrorist network that had been set up in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to stage terrorist attacks on Israelis and de-stabilize the Palestinian Authority to pave the way to oust Abbas and replace him with Hamas leader Mohammed Deif.

Abbas, in a gross understatement Tuesday, said that the plot is “serious.” He is learning, as Israel knows, that playing cards with Hamas is harmful to his life.

Everyone has a lot to lose with the truce agreement that is taking shape. Hamas would lose control of Gaza but regain a new lease on life. Egypt and Israel would lose the opportunity for the time being, to wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. Abbas would face the threat of a rejuvenated Hamas undermining his position of power.

They also have everything to lose if there is no agreement. Hamas would lose an opportunity to gain some respect in the international community, which it would exploit to undermine Abbas and crawl its way back into a position where it can attack Israel.

Egypt would lose its position of power and face the unwanted presence of European and American officials forcing themselves on the scene and taking charge of negotiations and even supervision of borders.

Israel would end up with having made concessions that would be the basis for further surrenders in the next round of negotiations

No one really know what pressures Netanyahu is facing from the Obama administration, but it is a fair presumption that Washington is buying off the Prime Minister with promises to make sure the Palestinian Authority does not go to the International Criminal Court with claims of war crimes against Israel.

If an agreement is not signed tonight, a cease-fire might continue on a de facto basis.

If a truce is signed, it will give U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry an opportunity to make things worse and try again to help Abbas create the Hamas-Fatah Palestinian Authority as a country.

Whether there is or is not an agreement, everyone has a rough ride ahead.